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08-28-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
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Processing portraits.

A buddy of mine did his first wedding shoot a few months ago. He was showing the me pictures, and I noticed that none of them were very sharp. I asked him about it, and his comment was that most wedding pictures are done soft to give it a more dreamy kind of look. He also said that he did this, as the parents are older, and he did this to try to hide wrinkles and age spots, etc. I never got to see the originals, so I'm not sure how sharp they originally were, but I thought he WAY over did the pictures. (softness) I've seen pictures on here, and I've always thought they seemed sharp, but sometimes just the outside will be blurred, and that I think looks good when done.

So is it common practice to soften a picture like this, or do the pro's try to keep wedding pictures nice and sharp?

08-28-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
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Well, I'd say, if everything looked soft - clothes, eyes, etc etc, then your friend probably just batch-softened everything. That's the lazy and crude way of doing it - in fact, you can just make a preset in Lightroom, and do the softening automatically when picture is imported.
It's probably a matter of volume - if he had tons of pictures, then taking every single one and doing the soft effect yourself on areas that actually need softening, would take time. A lot of time, in fact; same applies for sharpening. But then, if he cares more about quality than quantity, it's probably smart to go over the pics that were better when taken, and then put more attention on retouching them, than the other so-so ones.
08-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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For the shot series I've seen the uber-soft treatment is saved for shots that benefit from it. I can't see that could use it for everything.
08-29-2009, 04:42 AM   #4
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I would say that most photographers would selectively apply softening or glow to photos they think would look good in it, just as they might convert a few photos to sepia or black and white. To do all of them that way would certainly seem a bit odd.

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